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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 21, 2012 10:30pm-12:00am EDT

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judge jim gray. >> who we also talked to here op booktv. gary johnson, 2012 -- is the website, and here's the cover of the new book "seven principles of good government: liberty, people, and politics" out in august of 2012. >> in the memoir, novelist recounts the count issued against him in 1989 for the novel "the satanic verses" deemed, quote "against islam, the prophet, and the koran," end quote. this is about an hour twenty. >> thank you very much. [applause] thank you and welcome to this evening's conversation.
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i wanted to just begin explaning that in march of 1992 i interviewedded him for the first time near dulles airport. i had to meet a stranger at a hotel bar to take me to the secret location. i knew him by the fact he was carrying a "wall street journal," and -- [laughter] and we had a lengthy interview, by my standards, and i went back today to read what he said in the interview, and what i said in introducing it, and i realized what i wrote 20 years ago is equally true today. i wrote, "there's one thing i want to say before anything else, and that is that he wrote "midnight's children," a novel about india having me in stitches several years ago. for that book alone, i wanted to interview him and go out of the way hotel and meet some designated intermediary and then go somewhere else to do it." [laughter] needless to say, he's no longer famous for writing good novels,
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and his popularity is not the reason for such bizarre arrangements. he's famous because the later novel, "the satanic novels," condemned him to die. since then, for the past three years, he has been in hiding in britain most hi protected there by the security police. here's what you told me in the interview in 1992. you said, i really think that before this year is out, this thing will be over. [laughter] your alter ego lived on for quite a while longer. >> just temperature years wrong. >> just ten years wrong. [laughter] what was it like getting frustrated, thinking it was going to get settled, and then dashed all the time? >> i think that -- the problem of hoping it went on is very difficult to write about --
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duration, difficult to write about the fact that it was not that there were people shooting at me through the window. it was not, you know, it was not dramatic. it was just this sense that it was never going to end. it just went on and own and on which is why i used in the book, this image, the way he talks about the pompus of arian argen. if you photograph them, they look like a field. the only way to experience them is to travel through them, and then they just go on and on and on and on, always the same, and they go on and on and on and on, and they are always the same, and they go on and on and own, and they are always the same. it was like that, a situation that just went endlessly on. >> during that time, you could6% not live in your own home, but
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lived in the company of the police. >> yeah. that was -- i mean, a lot of people thought that i was in sort of isolation somewhere, but actually, it was the opposite of isolation. i was living with four enormous men with guns. [laughter] and we became quite close, but it was -- it was sometimes the problem was not isolation, but klauser phobia. >> you mentioned to write. >> eventually, up and down. i think the thing that saved me was that i'm a novelist. i think if i had been a playwright, suppose satanic verses was a play or a movie, if i were a director, it would have been virtually impossible for me to continue with my profession, you know, because of difficulty
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of getting a play put on or movie made, but writers are used to being in rooms, looking out the window, and thinking what the hell to do. [laughter] >> there you go. >> in a way, i was trained for this. [laughter] >> what you said about the image, never knowing when it's over, that reminded me of a sensation in new york, and then after 9/11, which was with hindsight we say there's a moment when we knew that had happened. >> for a couple days we didn't know. there could have been another plane. one doesn't know when the things are over. there's many ways in which what you experience seems to foreshadow things that we all came to experience. >> well, i mean, that's what i very strongly came to feel that what happened -- the case of "the satanic verses," was the
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harbor, the prologue, and that's why it was so badly understood when it first -- certainly in the west why it was badly understood because we had no narrative to fit it into. you know, it seemed to come out of nowhere, this sort of strange medievalist attack, you know, using accusations of things we had not heard about since the spanish inquisition, you know, these crimes, and people thought, what the hell is this? it was easy for people then to think, well, we don't understand this because it's to do weird and foreign, but he understands it, and so if he's upset so much, he must have done something bad. >> yeah. >> it was easy for people to do that because if they didn't have a larger frame, and what happened over the next decade, next 20 years was that people
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began to understand that the larger narrative, and the 9/11 attack, if you could say it, is the main event. >> talk about this idea that some of you are detractors, i guess, and one thing we learn if we're ever targeted with a death sentence confined to safe houses, every perceivedded flaw in the character will be published in the media in time. >> yes, and not just flaws of the character, but appearance, too. >> yes, everything. [laughter] well, it was argued, well, look, you wrote daringly about an area where given the state of leadership in islam in 1989, you were knocking on a door that was certainly possible, some ogre would jump out of it. you pay money, take chances. >> that's a plausible argument, suspect it?
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except, seems to me, one the greatest things about the history of literature is that writers have always taken on ogres, writers have always, in every country in the world, taken on tyrants and pointed up and called them by their name. you know, that when they wrote the poem about stalin, he knew well who he was and what he was like -- >> yeah. >> you know, knew who franco was. the history of literature is poets, artists, writers, standing up, telling the truth about tyrants to their face, and it's one of the noble things about literature is to say that that's what you musten do is to diminish, i think, what writers have done. >> that we have a stake in the writer of fiction, feeling defended, and taking on ogres.
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>> shelly said writers are unacknowledged legislators of mankind, which could be put a bit high, above poets -- [laughter] i think that's speaking truth to power. you know, that business of saying here's what i think of you is a good thing. >> you were speaking truth to power in a very important way, and it's the imagination of the artist being free to speak truth to power, and the election was not going to depend on you getting the scoop -- you were not going to call out the government, something different from that. >> yeah, and also, you know, "the satanic verses" was not a novel about islam. most of it was a novel about migration, a novel about people coming from the indian subcontinents settling in england in the 1980 #s, and the consequences of that.
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in the middle, there's a dream sequence in which there's a profit not called muhammed and islam and it's a dream in the mind of somebody going insane. this is what we, in the trade, call fiction. [laughter] [applause] >> that would be the technical term for it, but instead, one of the strangest accusations leveled against me from portions of the islamic world. a suspicion about fiction itself, but fiction was proposed as being something that conceals the true motives of the writer, so whereas most that practice it think fiction is a way of revealing truth, not concealing it, but, anyway, i heard it a
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thousand times. people said he's hiding behind his fiction. >> your real agenda. >> yeah, my real agenda, concealed in this make believe, you know, and i thought this is -- this is really one way of describing it that it's a category, people reading fiction as if it's disguised fact. and so, for instance, in this dream, when the religion is born, and there are adversaries abusing the newly faithful, you know, jeering up, and, you know, which happened. you know, it was the early history of islamists were persecuted, and so how do you show persecution without showing the persecutors doing the persecuting? can't do it. >> right. >> and then if the things the
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persecutors say when they persecute the persecuted people are accused -- the author's accused of agreeing with them; right? that he means what they mean, and suddenly, you realize what they mean by disguising fact by fiction. it was the assumption that i was on the side of the persecuted. >> if you could put your words on paper, clearly. >> clearly, i must mean them. >> you must mean them. >> yeah. it was a surrealist experience. i mean, i often think that of the three -- the great trinity of 20th century writers who invented modern literature, seems to be the one who got it most nearly right that we live in it, you know, and that at the same time as being dark and scary, it's very funny.
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i used to say to my friends at the time, often, if this stuff was not follow-upny at all, it would be quite funny. [laughter] you know? [laughter] for instance, quite soon after it all began, there was an interview on british television with a rather sweet looking elderly british muslim leader, an organizer of the demonstrations, and those silver beard, very neatly trimmed and so on, and soft voiced, gentle, elderly bloke, you know, and the tv interviewer said to them, had he read the verses, he looked shocked. no, i mean, no, in as of course not, and the journal interviewer said, well, this is not
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mr. rushdie's first book, but fourth, and have you ever read anything he's written? this gentleman sweetly, disarmingly, with these gestures -- [laughter] he said, you know, books are not my thing. [laughter] burning books, however -- >> burning books? [laughter] we should get to this, you know, your global adversary, pursuer in this was the io toll la and within -- members of the very immigrant wave you have been writing about organized a book burning. people seemed, at least comfortable with the idea of a death sentence against you with
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the clergy and outright endorsements that he should die for it. this was domestic, british issue, and you, at one point, and this is the point of greatest regret for you, you sat down with the leaders of the movement, and it's a very vivid scene described in a special police station. i want you to take us there. >> the green station in london is the maximum police station basically built to interrogate and house captured members of the ira. it was built as a terrorist holding station, and this was the place i was told i was the only place i was allowed to meet these people. the point is i was in a very bad state of mind. this is about two years into it, christmas 1990 is when this was. christmas eve, i think, 1990. first of all, i was very worn
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down by the endlessness of it, but that was only two years. also, i was worn down by a public rhetoric that was getting louder and louder in england. i mean, partly from conservative politicians, partly from bits of the, you know, the news media, and but also from the public at large. there had never been opinion polls published in which substantial majority of the british public were of the view it was my fault and up to me to do something to fix it. you know, you broke it, you fix it. you know, all of this pressure really too big its toll, and that's what suckered me, really, into the meeting of these islamic worthies who claimed they would sort it out if i had a meting with them and make friends. when i arrived, they showed me a badly typed paper with stunning mistakes, you know, grammatical
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errors, things that offend me -- [laughter] [applause] >> i don't think this was the most clever way to appeal to the vanity of the confession. you had to write from that point on. [laughter] >> look, it's not grammatical. [laughter] they said, no, no, rewrite it. you're the writer. >> see, yeah. >> yeah, that's who i am. [laughter] but the problem is is in the text constructed was what they considered bob the price of the ticket was i had to make a declaration of religious faith which was absurd because, no, i have less religion than you can inscribe on a chewed ave fingernail, and -- [applause] and -- but bsh but, you know, weekly and shamefully i got -- i got so desperate to break the log jam that i signed the
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document, and i immediately that i left, police station, taken away in the armored cars, and i realized i did something stupid, like i ripped the tongue out of my throat, lost my language, and i lied. i almost threw up in the back of the police car. i'm glad i didn't because the windows didn't come down because they -- anyway, it was a bad moment for me, like, i think, it's in the book of hitting bottom, and i think it was, but in retrospect, i came to think of it as beneficial to me because, i think, you know, it was a very clarifying moment showing me something that i had not looked at before which is that there was no way of making
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everybody like me. >> yeah. >> you know, that there was nothing i could do, and that actually, it was dangerous to try and make everybody like you because that led you into a trap. it led you into areas of compromise about things that should not be compromised about, and i just, at that point, to hell with it, to hell with it, no more apiecement, no more apology, no more atonement, no more saying i'm really sorry, you know, fuck it. [applause] and i think from that moment on, i, in a way, it taught me how to fight, you know? it just taught me, just stand up for it, you know, just stand up for what you did, what you believe in, what's right, and if people don't like it, they don't like it. although it was an awful moment for me, really sickening moment in my life, i think out of it came, you know, out of it --
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became the person i was able to become. there we are. >> yeah. back to some of the -- the -- the difficulties of living as you did -- >> yes. >> when you were under protection that verged on con findment, another -- confinement, another 9/11 parallel for those who wonder if we gave up freedom in order to be secure in the threat of terrorism. well, you were told routinely i don't don't think you're allowed to do that. you may not go visit him. your son can come here under these particular protections. you were protected, but protection meant great curtailment of your freedom. >> well, and also, the truth is that every single other person in england who received police protection got it living in their own house. you know, they didn't have to go
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under ground. they lived at home. the uniform police protected the property, and the special branch, secrets of police, looked after them going after their daily business. you know, there was no attempt to say you have to disappear. except for me, and i've thought that i made a mistake, you know, that if i had to do it again, i might just say, you know what? i've got a house over there. i'm going home. you want to protect me? that's where you'll find me. >> yeah. >> it would have been more dangerous, but maybe -- maybe it would have been -- maybe it would have been more dignified perhaps. >> just how dangerous it was, the best you could do was to learn that somebody had had critical -- credible information there had actually been a plot somewhere. >> yeah, that happened several times. i mean, i went -- one of the strange things is i got into strange places. i went into that building seen
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in james bond movies. the head of the secret service, and, anyway, i met all of these people, and actually, i came to admire them quite a lot. i thought they were really smart, really tough, and really knew what they were talking about, and i thought that it was quite good in a way to have them on my side. >> you told me 20 years ago at the strange hotel near dulles airport, you found them sophisticated, and talked with them and said you would write the book that would blow the lid off the secret police? yeah. >> there are moments when you talk about the ease of someone's life entirely secret, going to undisclosed places to protect individuals they can't describe, there's the perfect cover for extramarital affairs.
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>> ask dick cheney, he was in undisclosed locations. [laughter] oh, yeah, it was -- it's perfect cover. >> perfect cover. >> for fooling around. >> honey, i got to go on business. it's secret. they can't tell you anything about it. >> when i come back, i can't tell you anything. >> i won't be able to call you, and i'm going to be away for eight days. [laughter] >> some of your protecters did -- >> yeah, they did. >> they did. >> did you say "some"? it was all. >> roughly all of them. >> one i can tell you about because he was found out. one of the guys was with me for awhile was a bigamist. >> yes. >> he had two families, two wives, two sets of chirp, and he took the precaution of giving both wives sets of children the same loving nicknames.
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[laughter] >> no risk of forgetting. >> no mistake. >> right. >> wherever he went, he called them whatever he called them, you know, and he only got caught because he was not -- he was using detective sergeant, i think, and he was just getting into bed so they caught him because he got up to dance -- otherwise, he was caught. >> in addition to the real life billing where the fictional character, you needed surgery, a medical treatment in -- >> i had a problem with my eyelids, a medical problem where the condition called tosis, where basically -- how much do you want to know? >> well, you needed surgery. [laughter] it -- >> the muscles that work the io lids stop working, and so the eyelids come down and don't open at all. i had to have it repaired, and i went to the hospital, and there
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was this -- i mean, it was not an operate on the eyes, but eyelids, but i was there with my head bandaged, came out in the middle of the night, and i said hello? nobody answered. i said, hello again, and nobody answered. i thought, what! i mean, literally, i didn't know where i was, ect., and i picked the moment i picked to emerge from anesthesia was the moment the night nurse went to the bathroom. there was nobody there. it was an extraordinary moment. just, i mean, a minute or two minutes, but, to me, blindfolded and not know where you are and not even know what condition your eyes are in, it was a moment. >> and in a very special hospital, i gather? >> it was -- everything -- you know, everything i did was in a
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maximum security place where, you know, the royal family -- >> had surgeries -- >> had surgeries there. don't ask what royal family surgeries are. [laughter] you don't want to know. [laughter] >> this is a memoir, and it's not just the story of you and trying to get "the satanic verses" published in paperback, quite a struggle we'll talk about, but it's about your life. at the beginning of this saga you had one wife and one ex-wife. by the end of it, you had four ex-wives, one of whom deceased by the end of the story. at the beginning, you had one young son; by the end of it, he's a young adult, and you have another son. >> yeah. >> you were living -- to put it mildly, an active life, even within a shelf protection -- [laughter] that you're having --
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>> there's this moment when, 1990 somewhere, i was interviewed by mike wallace for "60 minutes," and he came to whatever undisclosed location. >> yep. >> and at that point it had just become known i had broke p up with my then wife marryann williams, and so, like, the second question -- it's "60 minutes," but the second question he asks is so your marriage ended? i said, yes. he said, so what do you do about sex? [laughter] >> that's a very highly rated program, "60 minutes." [laughter] >> i thought this is the most important political show on american television, and the second question is about sex? [laughter] as it happened, i had my then through great fortune with who became my wife, mother of my youngest son, but i was not
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going to tell mike wallace that. it was one of those magic moments where the right words just dropped into my mind, and i said, well, you know, mike, to tell you the truth, i'm grateful for the rest. [laughter] and i looked so shocked. [laughter] that i had to say something like, just kidding, mike. [laughter] anyway, that's mike wallace and me. [laughter] >> now, in addition to, you know, your family life, changing quite a bit over the time, and during that time, you wrote "you were the ground beneath her feet" -- >> the first one i wrote was the stories, and the collection of stories east and west. you know, i wrote, yeah, i did my job, and them as i said, i really think that the fact that i was able to do my job by just
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sitting in a room and writing was a part of what saved my life. you know, i could be myself. >> i was trying to figure out whether i thought you -- how much your writing's influenced by the experience, and it seems to me that they celebrated in memory in spain and the moment of great cultural cooperation between islam christianity and judaism -- >> that's something of it, but what that book came out of is something else. what was growing in india at that time was not an islamic, but nationalism, and one important aspect of that was to raise the issue of authenticity. what was an authentic indian,
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and that the hindu thought it was only the hindu experience of india was authentically indian, and all the minorities, the largest, the muslim minority, were in some way inauthentic; right? i found that very annoying, and so i thought that i would take a very small indian minority, the south indian jewish community. >> yeah. ..
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>> have this same freedom of
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expression in? i would broaden that to the complete the part list and trashy video that may be calculated to offend. >> figures speech includes that. not just artist but garbage makers. i don't think even he knows his name. [laughter] is often the case to find yourself defending stuff you don't like. there was a film made in pakistan called international guerrilla us about a group of al qaeda
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terrorist whose job was to find and kill me. that would be the happy ending. shown living the island in the philippines all writers have a holiday homes. [laughter] at 1.1 of the international drilling is is captured. my character is depicted as have a a jack daniel's. with which he flakes on people because that is the type of guy that i am.
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[laughter] the heroic international guerrilla is tied up then i have of better idea to say to the israeli secret service take him away and read from the satanic verses all by. [laughter] of course, he cracked. [laughter] anything but that. at the end of the film i am killed. pipeline karan unleashing bolts of lightning. from the auld -- almighty. [laughter] the film is banned in england. because the certified by the says i can sue them to. i decided i cannot do this.
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i cannot be acted by yes cents of censorship. 924 ghalib give up my right. so they did. with the largest population in england, nobody wins. why? because it is a crappy movie. whether it ought to they did not want to and over their money to see of bad film. it was a microcosm for the argument of free-speech. it would add required the glamour and people would be watching videos behind the
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drawn curtains. to put it al there disintegrates. >> if you knew that they would rise up in a riot to order a dead death sentence to the film maker, one can begin to understand the interest. >> that is fictional. [laughter] here is the thing. it seems we should not live in a world that the threat of violence otherwise we give in to the men of violence.
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>> this is the lesson we learned with the school playground. if you give it into a bully few ensure they will be more. the only way to diffuse that we know this when mayor kids. we should remember as adults >> is exactly. smashing windows. having shown i am out of questions i will turn to the audience questions. why do you feel it is safe to do the two were? >> i have been doing this 11 years now. so far you see that i am not
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that dangerous. [laughter] but in those days there was security. 2002 is the last moment at which there was a security presence. six -- since then i have been teaching at universities, going on the jon stewart show. the thing to explain their real danger not just to my life but named from anybody from the book at all was never from random violent individuals always state-sponsored terrorism.
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the paid profession -- professional assassins. >> and a number of attacks on bookstores. there was a bookstore not just burned to the people going into the bookstores at the publishing company is. and a great tragedy was the translator of the professor that was murdered at his university in japan. and the attempt to murder the norwegian publisher. but this was the war.
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and all these cases these were professional hits. >> it was not spontaneous the danger was high from the turn of the century when refi they managed to get the iranians to back down. so really most of the danger went away. >> what is the difference between fata and the bounty? how do you deal with that? >> >> nobody has ever taken in this gentleman seriously.
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even than iran. it is clear he does not have the money. anybody can say $3 billion but if you don't have that it reduces the force of your argument. [laughter] what happened to to me in the decade since the spring of 2002 somebody puts of this to my direction to say something roof. -- ruder but this former frederick and this dangerous profession. >> historical a people who were okay include the former reformist president, the man whose some people think one the election. >> even and the liberals are
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assholes. [laughter] in a novelist imagination. i cannot indulge in that with my line of four. [laughter] now for something different, in your opinion what would you say is the most crucial element for literary or structural or moralistic. >> the answer to that. it is what my stork -- son told me what i had written 30 or 40 pages i thought i had better show it to him. and i could see there was a cloud on his face. >> host: i like it.
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were you not saying? some people might be bored. [laughter] not be. i would read it. [laughter] i was shocked and deceive. [laughter] aboard? what do you mean they are bored? why? he said it does not have enough jump. not enough job. binders stood exactly what he meant. i can do john. [laughter] i grabbed it back from him and went away and three rodent with extra jump and through gratuities would you think now?
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he said now it is mine. it was the best most precise and literary criticism i ever had. it was helpful. the secret ingredients right thing for the young adults is a jump. if you have that the rest of it is okay. >> ask j.k. rowling's. [laughter] >> until your favorite story about christopher hichens. >> in this strange for me still to come to washington and have him not here. every time i would come here i would stay with him. it is a big hole in the world. i could tell a story about the silly games.
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i invented the cleaned once. i am the sanitized version. we have differing games quotation marathons. i weighed tried to reside divisions and christopher had the most lazy -- amazing memory. he won all of those. then there was a game of titles of things. a farewell to weapons. [laughter] mr. chicago. [laughter] today is in the life for whom the bell rings. [laughter] a lot of these toby dick.
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also known as mob brac. [laughter] blueberry fan. march 10 and him invented hysterical effects you replace the word love in the title with the phrase hysterical sex. hysterical sex in the time of cholera. [laughter] all you need is an hysterical sex. [laughter] hysterical sex is a many splendid thing. [laughter] >> did that make it into the book? [laughter] >> did you and christopher hichens talk about becoming american? saddling in this country?
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>> it was the fact. but what i should say is in 1989, we were friendly but we were not close friends. we had friends in common but he was not of the somebody. when this happened to me it became very profound in his life. he took the decision to stand next to me to became michael says friend. and then became one of the most wonderful allies. he is the fighter. you want him on your side. you certainly did not want him on the other side. the french ship became
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closer and closer because he wanted to make the statement. i thought that was extraordinary. when i came to washington d.c. to have a meeting with clinton. a went to the white house from christophers apartment. he had been quite hopeful to pressurize the people he knew in the clinton administration like george stephanopoulos to get the meeting to have been. -- have been. christopher was not a great fan of president clinton. he hated his guts but thought it would be valuable so he tried hard. george was so excited when the meeting finally happened he called christopher from
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the white house while i had the meeting with clinton and said the eagle has landed at. [laughter] feel they time i ever had anything quoted by neil armstrong. it is like landing on the moon. it was an important meeting because the previous administration was dismisses and not interested. suddenly to have the american government to put the power and weight to of united states to say there has to be a solution from other western governments and got the attention of the radiance and the combination of that. and the new labor3 and the new labor government finally brought it to the end.
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>> in fairness we should say when the reason was given to you it always involved hostages. >> you were somehow put together with terry waite. >> there were american hostages. initially was asked by authorities not to visit the united states while there were hostages in lebanon. they did not want to endanger them. to be fair the day the last american hostage was freed the american said i could come whenever i wanted. they kept there word. something about meeting strange people. there is an official in
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washington that is the counter terrorism chief. that holds the rank of ambassador. the job is so secret it cannot describe his movements. yet he runs the whole counterterrorism operation of the united states. i met them. i could write one hell of a spy novel. [laughter] one them asked me not to visit another said i could come. and the first time i came was to speak in colombia this is the funny but not funny moment.
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i was met at the airport by a motorcade with an armored white stretch limousine like having a finger in the sky. [laughter] he is here. [laughter] i said lt. bob cohmad this is a lot. would now be better to drive me through the back streets of queens. he looked at me. and said no sir. it would not be better. [laughter] i said who else would you do this war? he said it is what we do for yes, sir. arafat. [laughter]
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>> said the may i was the head of the plo i said just because i was curious if you were protecting the president what more would you do? he said if you with the president of the united states, we would close down the side roads and have been in the buildings and helicopters. we did not do that because of a look to conspicuous. [laughter] >> very good. good americans. [laughter] one of our guests in the audience asks to believe that some point* of the armored car that it was not worth the right thing the satanic verses? >> that is when i thought it
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was not worth living. the vein is that i am very proud of it and is one of the better books i have written. [applause] i think one of the reasons going through this is to reach this moment now people can finally read it as a novel. especially younger readers. if you are 30 are under you would have been five or six and it is ancient history. readers can come to the book carrying less baggage. that is beginning to happen. some people cannot stand it. >> a man's life was at
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stake. >> finally having the ordinary life in the book. >> books survive if they survive because people like them not because they don't. we don't care about the literary scandal. any help that survives for any length of time survives because people think it is valuable. literally any book that has stayed in print this because people love it. now finally the book has a chance to pass the test. i will not be around but i like it i has been around a long time people still seem
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to think it is worth reading. those who were not born with the book came out and said that is likely being the first hurdle. if you can do three or four more you have a chance to stick around. >> at some point* there will be literature professors who will assign the book and have to explain but here is how the book figure in the history of the world. >> actually one of the things i feel is for a long time i did not want to talk about this briarwood come on the book tour inevitably
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somebody would want to ask. i would get frustrated. so long time i resisted now i'm doing nothing but it. but it is the way to draw a line under it. and the future if i am here to talk about a novel i will throw the 600 page book at them. [laughter] it just feels good to have been out in the open. all these people helped me in the most extraordinary ways literally moving out of their own homes. none of us has ever told the story. we have kept the secret to
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decades. this is the literary world. the world that cannot keep a secret to save its life. [laughter] but to save my life everybody is it to their lips and did not say one word. >> host: to extend further. when this was over you concluded the reason the secret was kept for those who worked on the house house, people knew this was salman rushdie burma nabors suspected. >> everybody thought this is really serious. do not screw up. it was an extraordinary act. i often thought more and more there was a hatred level the also end act of
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solidarity and friend chip amounting almost to love. this was a battle between love and hate. i am here because of the power of love which i have proved to be stronger. [applause] >> here is the question with the rise of islamic extremism how can western society maintain the unbiased and respectful view? >> i would not recommend it. [laughter] [applause] [laughter] >> do want to ask a
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follow-up? [laughter] >> a chance answer. hundred of millions of people believed about the in those that fundamentally are incompatible. it can be argued to keep the peace to live in end separate country is the just not go to certain places. to apply the same rigor. >> that is to again -- to 10. >> democracy, have you noticed?
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one of the things about living in the genuinely open society is people disagree by the may all the time. i do not mean violently. i mean they disagree but the nature of democracy is disagreement. often that is extreme and hard to see that common ground one side and the other. i have come to believe the argument in itself is free them. you just have to have it. every country that is not a free society it is shut down. you cannot talk about that. if you don't use that way be will come after you.
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>> host: america hence may dismiss it to be undemocratic but there could be limits on hate speech far beyond our standard. >> england there is greater limits that makes it illegal where the first amendment would defend and protect the kkk. >> you can argue both ways. the view i have come to have the first amendment is a better way to go because dreadful idea is to not disappear to increase in
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power to force them underground. it is better to have them out in the light of day. >> you have to drive the stake? >> let the light shine. >> one of the members of the audience asks you think about easy is it to whip them into a frenzy? how different they would this have played out in the age of the internet? >> it would be much more dangerous. it is the model of the fax machine. [laughter] and telephones had chords
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that connected into the wall. [laughter] that was it. there is a funny scene in the book i was not allowed to give the phone number out. of friend was in the computer business and said there are these things called mobile phones. maybe you could have won then people could call you and would not know where you are. how it is it. [laughter] i said that sounds fantastic he said i will look into it. he brought me this object. [laughter] you needed a bag to carry a. i could push buttons and people are there.
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it is magical. >> it the internet had existed and everything else, text messaging, facebook and twitter it would have been so rapid -- rapid 1/2 been instantaneous. >> what about getting them behind the paperback edition? >> if we have the secret origin online to go straight to the amazon kindle addition. that would have solved the problem. three sen i was anxious to have them paperback if you
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want to keep it in print you have to have the cheap edition. you cannot add of the hardcover edition. people will stop buying that if you do not have the cheap addition it will go out of print. we're fighting to stay and print we needed dead cheap addition. that is the argument i made that penguin books could not support. now you could have the e- book. >> that you ran up against the argument it was published and it will go away. >> the argument is backwards.
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if you just forget about the book it will go away. is important not to get upside-down. it is okay for the books to be controversial. this is the reason why walking into a bookstore there are books from other people. there all by me. [laughter] the point* is you can choose to read the books you want to read. the fact that what can exist by a existing but is very existence is such an affront you try to burn the world down that is the problem.
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not the book. [applause] >> more? >> people said they wanted to go on. >> we will do another 10 minutes. was it a single event that made you come out of hiding? >> it was step-by-step. there was a particular important event that happened at the united nations security council. in 1998.
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the they agreed to withdraw the if threat than the british tried to make sure they were telling the truth. the floor that was step-by-step. before that to do ordinary professional things to talk to my readers. a lot of this was a battle with security forces. gradually we got more cooperation. what made a big difference was this country. america allowed me to come here which started off to be short like 10-- that ended
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up to the two months to live the ordinary and free life. [applause] i was allowed to make way on choices. to decide what was okay, sensible, us to bid, to rent a place where ever it might be and just live. a gave me breathing room to come out of the bubble to begin the ordinary life. with my wife and children as well. incredibly important. is very much the case. i made a home in your city where i live 13 years. i began to get my free them back. in the end that made me feel
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flaunt of it. >> those airlines? >> for a long time it was difficult to get on a plane. huge negative countries by the behavior of their national i airline -- airline. >> host: pretended not come out well. >> the there did america. canada at yes. scandinavian. air france. they are countries that have long history of human-rights. that goes to the airline also of. [laughter] >> host: but the airline was persuaded. you do one, concede when people would see you they would walk away.
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i will not fly with him. >> that have been once and it was 1%. i was terrified. i worried about that. people come up and people were about you. the generality of people it is very nice. there humanity. [applause] >> all of you. [laughter] most if you are very nice. except for you. [laughter] >> why a day deride joseph anton in the third person?
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>> because i tried to write in the first person. i did not like it. i did not like the tone of it. of the. shut up. [laughter] i had the idea to write it like it all with the skill of the novel list. if i was describing myself and everybody else he or she then it is over the privileged. but even if my character is another person i can write about everybody at the same level.
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to suggest person i was writing about is not exactly the same. the self that his writing the book has gone through that experience and hopefully learned something from it. and is much older. now i am 65. writing about the traces and decisions. also the younger cell under colossal pressure. >> allot of my friends would say when this and did in my fifties. people would say you look younger now. i think so.
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is slightly different. it became easier. what we've just see what happens to put it in the third person. it was like the lightbulb moment. i know how to do this. >> after that you stop thinking about it from the first few pages. >> was a your relationship with your son each team at you the most? role life is spent
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surrounded by security? >> i did not know how to write it. frustration. claustrophobia up. the feeling this could end badly at any moment. there is a moment to the main character, the paragraph talking about the nature of the year. is all or nothing. you can just be afraid. i felt there is a certain moment at which if we do anything at all and including write a book, be a father to your son, you have
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to find a way to put the pierre a side. it is not not exist but to have your day it needs to be in a corner of the room. the lot of them says something similar to handle fear you have to put it away to do something else. the way of surviving this would put the box in the corner of the room. i would look over here. is a mental trick but i don't know what was the worst.
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i would not recommend any of it. year is the thing. i finally got a good book out of it. [laughter] at least that's is a spy novel or a thriller. >> host: the existentialist alumnus now that i can write about it it would be a good story but at the time i thought do not live through this story. >> host: we appreciate the news that we can use. i said at the outset if not the only guest in the hotel
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walk came down this long corridor with the room at the end. >> the entire eaton eight you, mike wallace, rose a writing and blindfolded being led by been holding the "wall street journal". >> >> rahm by a routine along interview. 25 minutes. i feel absolutely honored to have this much of your time. to be the questionnaire. you have written a terrific book.
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i have enjoyed it. thank you for talking about it. [applause]
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>> this book in the ticket their deals at its heart with several desserts but ultimately the subtitle is boom and bust in the new old west. looking at how the economy if it affects our lives and get this into our very bodies. of book that i wrote to because my body of arrived in the desert in the winter of 1997 when i was broke kumbaya broke and and on drugs. in mexico city where i was lucky enough to go under a book contract from the art. i got advance said dream
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come true and in mexico city i had crossed the deadline and not one word written. i was broke i called the only friend i could count on because lifestyle allowed me to destroy relationships of friend and mentor to the solidarity network and said species begins spanish she had been to be living in bet negative would treat california. there are circumstances that led her how did she went up in the desert? everybody has a story how they got there. she said we will give you a
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place to live. wrote shortly thereafter one of the first things that i saw that says services 100 miles. year at 29 palms by joshua tree i fell to go further out. that is on the edge of a beautiful national park. you know, the album at least. [laughter] you know, what the joshua tree looks like. crazy arms. i wanted to go further out. there is something existential driving be further out to the big and the. also because the event got cheaper and cheaper. $275 a month for the
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two-bedroom house, 5 acres of land on the edge of 29 palms. that is where the book begins with a personal crisis no accident that i arrived at this landscape and the desert is the site of restorative blagojevich for millennia. at that particular moment i don't think was aware i am a big trouble i must go he'll in the desert. but that is the state i was entering into realized the symbolism was there to receive me to begin the process of healing to get to know the place that included
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dealing with the fact i was arriving on a landscape that had as much problems as mexico city. addiction, at all the pain that goes with that. met flaps were exploding. young marines word training and doing drugs to escape the reality. if i would go to a site for ancient symbolism i was entering a place that was the opposite. phantasmagorical. years after i moved to joshua tree and 29 palms i
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met my partner who had written a wonderful book called the pastoral clinic. i met angela. she is from the desert. that is what i fell for a media elite. from albuquerque. we lived in mexico together while she was doing research for her addiction now at stanford university. so i followed a angela to another landscape of northern new mexico which i
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have already seen. we have all seen in northern mexico. whether of postcard added trucks stop or georgia o'keeffe, the santa fe artists' colony, how many western's have we seen? northern new mexico and particular has a very powerful job in terms of the enchanted landscapes official state nickname is land of enchantment with the soft and warm and fuzzy to
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obscure a complicated reality. that is desert america how it is imagined for us at have the imagery the vision for us consumed, bought and sold and hotels and how complicated that human geography of the place for imagine plays and the live place. i will take you to northern mexico briefly. and gillette chose number the mexico.
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both families have issues with addiction. that was a point* of encounter between us. she chose northern mexico not to be right next door but close enough to visit often and the his big yellow valley ultimately comes out of santa fe few have ever driven that way it is called the low road. that place as the highest rate of heroin addiction and death from overdose and 80 where in the country. and has for along time. the problem is getting worse. not better.


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